The first Violence Against Women Act was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. Since then it has mushroomed into a law that not only turns a cold shoulder to male DV victims, but also promotes malicious stereotypes about men as abusers and batterers.
The current VAWA law expires on September 30, and renewal legislation was recently introduced. Please make note of these bill numbers, and be sure to refer to them in all communications with your elected officials:
- Senate bill: S. 1197
- House of Representatives bill: H.R. 2876
A powerful lobbying coalition has now been assembled to make VAWA male-inclusive. But in the final analysis, our elected officials are looking for votes -- and that's where you come in.
Last week on our webpage at http://www.mediaradar.org/alert_vawa2.php
we asked readers to telephone your two Senators and one Representative and deliver this message: "VAWA must not discriminate against male victims of domestic violence." (If you did not get around to doing this, do it now. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and the operator will connect you to your elected official's office.)Game Plan for This Week:
- Call the office of your Senators and Representative.
- Ask the receptionist to give you their fax number and mailing address. Keep this information in a safe place -- we will be using it many times during the course of our VAWA 4 All campaign.
- Write a short letter to your elected official. The letter should include this key phrase: "VAWA must not discriminate against male victims of domestic violence." A one- or two-paragraph letter works best.
- FAX your letter to the number you obtained in Step 2. And then mail your letter.
[/list:o]That's it for this week! And stay tuned -- next week RADAR will be announcing our VAWA Shock and Awe Campaign!
Remember, always be COURTEOUS and REASONABLE in your communications. A letter or phone call that sounds angry just reinforces the negative stereotypes.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead
Date of RADAR Release: June 26, 2005
To track the current status of VAWA, go to http://thomas.loc.gov and enter the bill number.
Come to Washington DC on July 15 and join the national effort to lobby your elected officials about VAWA. See http://www.trueequality.com/index2.php for more details.
To receive RADAR Alerts, press releases, and other special announcements, sign up for the RADAR E-lert. You can sign up for the E-lert on the RADAR home page at http://www.mediaradar.org
Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR) is a coalition of men and women working to assure media balance and accuracy in coverage of the domestic violence issue. More information can be found at http://www.mediaradar.org